Pfizer beats sales and
profit forecasts, mum on future deals
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[October 28, 2014]
(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc reported stronger-than-expected quarterly
results, helped by growing sales of its cancer drugs and demand for its
medicines in emerging markets, but did not signal any acquisition plans
in the wake of its recent failed efforts to buy rival British drugmaker
The largest U.S. drugmaker on Tuesday said it had earned $2.67
billion, or 42 cents per share, in the third quarter. That compared
with $2.59 billion, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier, when it
took charges for restructurings, asset writedowns and other costs.
Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 57 cents per share. Analysts
on average expected 55 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales fell 2 percent to $12.36 billion, hurt by generic competition
and the expiration of a longstanding deal with Amgen Inc to
co-market its Enbrel arthritis drug. But they topped Wall Street
expectations of $12.24 billion.
Pfizer tightened its full-year earnings forecast to between $2.23
and $2.27 per share from its prior outlook of $2.20 to $2.30.
Pfizer officially gave up its six-month pursuit of AstraZeneca after
its final $118 billion bid was rejected on May 26. It had hoped to
base the combined company in Britain, which has lower taxes than the
United States, a maneuver called tax inversion.
Under UK takeover rules, Pfizer can make another run at AstraZeneca
late next month, but it did not mention its intentions in Tuesday's
Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read in July said Pfizer was
looking at other potential deals and that taxes would be one of
three major considerations.
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Other factors are whether a potential acquisition is undervalued and
whether cost savings from a deal would offset a premium price.
In the next four years, generic rivals will challenge blockbuster
Pfizer products such as nerve pain treatment Lyrica and
anti-impotence drug Viagra, putting pressure on the company to
acquire new products. It cautioned in the earnings report that its
Celebrex painkiller in December would begin facing cheaper generics
in the United States.
Pfizer shares rose 2 percent to $29.63 in trading before the market
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Lisa
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